FULTON MARKET — When Fairgrounds opens its third Chicago location in booming Fulton Market next week, guests will be able to play Skee-Ball and test their strength on a strongman-style High Striker game — all while imbibing on tea, coffee and cocktails.
The popular cafe, which offers coffee from a rotating selection of roasters and specialty teas, is expanding its menu to include more bites and cocktails at its newest location at 1330 W. Fulton Market St., which opens at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Fairgrounds on Fulton will offer up coffee from roasters like Dark Matter Coffee, Gaslight Coffee Roasters and Colectivo Coffee, and cold brews, kombuchas and specialty elixirs, too.
With games customers will remember playing at fairs in their childhood, owner Michael Schultz said the new location builds on the brand’s “whimsical” nature.
The third Chicago outpost offers a 22-seat cocktail bar, rope swings and 86 seats and couch spaces across the expansive shop.
Starting at 11 a.m., guests who’ve had their fill of coffee can also enjoy cocktails with cheeky names, like the gin or vodka-based Shake Your Libations, Grandpa Irv’s Old Fashioned, and You’d Better Rum.
Executive Chef Dan Gamoran will oversee the expanded food menu that includes Fairgrounds sandwiches, pub-style nachos, marinated tofu banh mi, creamy burrata and nann flatbreads.
Schultz opened the first Fairground location in Bucktown in 2017. The first shop proved that customers wanted something new in a coffee shop — the option to choose from a variety of roasters.
“Why not get these great ones in the same place where you can get flights of different kombuchas, a flight of teas, flights of cold brews, flights of hot coffees,” Schultz said. “It worked in the middle of Bucktown with 14 other cafes that you can walk to.”
Since opening the Bucktown shop, Schultz opened a second shop at Chicago Athletic Association in the Loop and others in Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
And despite having lots of food and beverage options in Fulton Market, Schultz said the trendy area is underserved when it comes to coffee.
“We feel like Fairgrounds will be a destination for those seeking out choice, a better atmosphere, great service and hospitality, which we feel has been missing in this new world of specialty coffees and teas,” he said.
Fairgrounds on Fulton is open 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.